Today was the first day we finally got "My Brother's Knife: A Madison Heights Odyssey" "on its feet." Excusing the back to back quotations, getting a show "on its feet" is always an eye-opening and head-pounding experience. Adding in the blocking--actors' own personal movements (walks, gestures, etc.) and actors' movements around the space--can change and clarify lines and relationships and can help emphasize subtext. On the flip side, it can have actors feeling like they were never meant to go into this business, directors feeling like said actors were never meant to go into business, and designers wondering why they chose to go into theatre instead of something more business-like.
Thankfully, our first blocking rehearsal did not go that poorly.
Sergio and Walter were in blocking rehearsal for two hours before I got there (insert split-screen images of the two of them sweating and obviously engaged in some hard labor, and me, lounging like a goddess by a pool with an attractive cabana boy) and they jumped right into blocking the show from the beginning. Of course, since this is an original production with corrections and tweaks still being made to the text, they still had to read through a few things before throwing them up on their feet.
The set for MBK is going to be very intimate, with the audience facing each other in a tennis court-esque set up, which, as I informed Geoff, is a good metaphor for the show (please, no, hold the applause, my intellectual prowess amazes you, I know!). The main portion of the stage belongs to my character's house, with platforms to play a bridge scene on, a car area, and a bathroom area. However, all of this fits into maybe 20 square feet. Additionally, the set is still in a sketchy place, meaning things can be moved around and relocated, changed, or stricken altogether. Geoff ended up moving the car area from a more centered position:
to a more audience-oriented corner:
We're hoping to work all of the major on-its-feet problems with the script before Josh Mikel leaves us at the end of the this week, and additionally, this show goes up in, like, four weeks. Four weeks? Holy moly, Geoff--do we have an off-book date?